HUMAN CONDITION PDF
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Arendt, Hannah. The human condition / by Hannah Arendt; introduction by Margaret. Canovan. — 2nd ed. File:Arendt Hannah The Human Condition 2nd pdf Arendt_Hannah_The_Human_Condition_2nd_pdf (file size: MB, MIME. Free Download. PDF version of The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt. Apple, Android and Kindle formats also available.
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PDF | On Jan 1, , Arpad Kadarkay and others published Hannah Arendt: The Human Condition-Part I. This thesis is a reconsideration of Hannah Arendt‟s The Human Condition. It Arendt‟s consideration of the human condition so unique, namely, that the. Jeremy Griffith's first book introduces the issue of the human condition and the Once you have chosen A4 or US Letter, downloading the PDF file could take up.
For example, a tree is cut down to obtain wood, or the earth is mined to obtain metals. Work comprises the whole process, from the original idea for the object, to the obtaining of raw materials, to the finished product.
The process of work is determined by the categories of means and end. Arendt thinks that thinking of ourselves primarily as workers leads to a sort of instrumental reasoning in which it is natural to think of everything as a potential means to some further end.
Kant 's claim that humanity is an end in itself shows just how much this instrumental conception of reason has dominated our thinking. Utilitarianism , Arendt claims, is based on a failure to distinguish between "in order to" and "for the sake of.
Although use objects are good examples of the products of work, artworks are perhaps the best examples, since they have the greatest durability of all objects. Since they are never used for anything least of all labor , they don't get worn down. V - Action[ edit ] The third type of activity, action which includes both speech and action , is the means by which humans disclose themselves to others, not that action is always consciously guiding such disclosure.
Indeed, the self revealed in action is more than likely concealed from the person acting, revealed only in the story of her action. Action is the means by which we distinguish ourselves from others as unique and unexchangeable beings. With humans, unlike with other beings, there is not just a generic question of what we are, but of who each is individually. Action and speech are always between humans and directed toward them, and it generates human relationships.
Diversity among the humans that see the action makes possible a sort of objectivity by letting an action be witnessed from different perspectives. Action has boundless consequences, often going far beyond what we could anticipate.
The Greeks thought of the polis as a place where free people could live together so as to act. Philosophers like Plato , disliking action's unpredictability, modeled the ideal polis on the household.
In it, the philosopher king produces the lasting work of legislation, and the people labor under him. Against attempts to replace action with work and labor, Arendt offers two solutions to the two greatest problems action creates: forgiveness to temper action's irreversibility, and promises to mitigate its unpredictability.
VI - The Vita Activa and the Modern Age[ edit ] Arendt thinks that three great events determined the character of the modern age: "the discovery of America and the ensuing exploration of the whole earth; the Reformation , which by expropriating ecclesiastical and monastic possessions started the two-fold process of individual expropriation and the accumulation of social wealth; the invention of the telescope and the development of a new science that considers the nature of the earth from the viewpoint of the universe.
They happened suddenly and had repercussions their instigators never intended. One effect of each of these events is to increase our alienation from the world, which Arendt thinks is far more characteristic of our age than alienation from the self as Marx thought. The process of expropriation kicked off by the Reformation expropriated people from their land and place in the world.
Galileo 's discovery of the continuity between the earth and the universe alienates people from their world by showing that our earth-centered view of the world is illusory, that the sun does not rise and set as it appears to. Ironically, the outcome of the scientific revolution is that current theories have become so bizarre and that perhaps no one can grasp the world they describe.
They have turned out to be useful primarily as instruments, after having shattered our previous understanding of the world. Meanwhile, science now further alienates us from the world by unleashing processes on earth that previously occurred only further out in the universe. We have found an archimedean point to move the world, but only by losing our place in it.
The consequence of this world alienation for philosophy has been an intense focus on the self, the one remaining sphere of certainty and knowledge. The world described by science cannot be known, or not with certainty, but the self, Descartes and other moderns thought, could be known.
Though his cogito ergo sum was anticipated by Augustine, his dubito ergo sum is original and a hallmark of modernity: beginning from doubt. The notion of common sense as a sense in which the other five were fitted to a common world ceded to a conception of common sense as an inner faculty with no relationship to the world, and the assumption that all humans had faculties like this in common became necessary to get theories going, but without the assumption of a common world, the assumption of faculties in common lost some warrant.
Galileo's discoveries also have implications for the 'vita activa' and 'contemplativa'. That he made the discoveries with a telescope, with a product of human work, signals an important change in science. Knowledge is acquired not simply by thinking, but by making.
Homo faber and the life of work were thus exalted over the life of contemplation.
Indeed, the model of scientific inquiry, the experiment, is one in which the scientist unleashes a process by which the scientist produces results. This way of doing science is naturally understood in terms of work processes. The philosopher has consequently been relegated to a position of relative insignificance, merely puzzling over what the scientists have shown.
Just as the dream to free ourselves from the earth is old, so too is the dream of being free from labor as ancient as the toil of labor itself.
For millennia, humans have employed both machines as well as workers and slaves to lighten their laboring. For most of human history, however, the freedom from labor was compensated by the freedom to more vigorously pursue the other hu- man capacities of work and action. But automation threatens to free man not only from labor, but from the human condition itself. The Singularity and the Human Condition 9 The newly possible fulfillment of this ancient wish to escape labor through automation carries a bitter pill.
Ours is an egalitarian society, so we are embarrassed if we are free from labor when others are not. To the question, what will human beings do in a world of intelligent machines that can work for us, Arendt worries that that the answer is depressingly little. Ancient societies were slave societies because only through slavery could citizens lighten their burden and free themselves for public life. Our earthly life is given and will disappear, from dust to dust.
Insofar as they are freed to act in public and to create works of art that enter the world, these citizens live ever more fully in the world.
It is on the basis of the distinction between the intensity and pain of labor and life versus the immortality of the world that Arendt argues that it would be 10 Roger Berkowitz impossible for a non-living robot to take over fully the burden of our human living.
She writes, It is true that the enormous improvement in our labor tools—the mute robots with which homo faber has come to the help of the animal laborans, as distin- guished from the human, speaking instruments the instrumentum vocale, as the slaves in ancient households were called whom the man of action had to rule and oppress when he wanted to liberate the animal laborans from its bondage—has made the twofold labor of life, the effort of its sustenance and the pain of giving birth, easier and less painful than it has ever been.
And yet, the unimaginable automation and intelligence that accompanies the scientific and technological revolutions has, Arendt insists, a limit. It might not even be real. In a world dominated by the life of the species, the elimination of the need to labor through automation and intelligent machines does not free man to higher pursuits; it brings him instead face to face with his meaninglessness, his existence as one part of an automatically functioning species.
Her discussions of labor, work, and action explicate three fun- damental faculties of the human condition that she argues would be lost in the transition to a technological humanity divorced from this earth. It is very possible, she writes, that humans will exchange their biological and earthly existence for a new human existence, one that we can design and make ourselves. The only question, she believes, is whether we humans want to make such a choice: The question is only whether we wish to use our new scientific and technical knowledge in this direction, and this question cannot be decided by scientific means; it is a political question of the first order and therefore can hardly be left to the decision of professional scientists or professional politicians.
Arendt insists that she does not take a position in the argument and does not offer answers to the question of whether we should shed our earthly and biological humanity. Instead, she claims, The Human Condition is written for a simple purpose: to reconsider the human condition from the vantage point of our newest experiences and our most recent fears. What I propose, therefore, is very simple: it is nothing more than to think what we are doing.
And what we are doing is what is happening in the modern age, the age of science.
Mimesis, interpretation and the human condition
If Sputnik and automation are the twentieth-century events that threaten the human condition and augur the modern world, the great event that most fully reveals the modern age is the invention of the telescope by Galileo.
In the ancient philo- sophical battle between the idealists and the empiricists, Galileo is thought to have given the victory to the empiricists. Against those who might argue for the truth of an idea over reality, Galileo claimed to show that empirical study aided by technological innovation could establish a real truth. The truth about truth, however, is not so simple. What Galileo saw in his telescope was not a simple confirmation of empiricism.
Terror, Terrorism, and the Human Condition
Recall that before Galileo people thought that the moon was perfect and flat. Galileo looked at the moon and saw dark spots. From these shadows, Galileo concluded that there were mountains on the moon that were four miles high. Which turns out to be pretty accurate—the highest one today is thought to be three miles high.
And Galileo did all this without seeing a single mountain. How did he know that there were mountains on the moon and why is his conclusion that there were mountains so important? What he saw were shadows and he deduced they were made by mountains.
Second, his conclusion refutes the common sense that the moon is smooth, a conclusion itself based on sense perception. For thousands of years by means of our senses we thought the moon was flat; now we learn that our senses lie to us. Galileo does not prove the certainty of sense perception. On the contrary, he proves to us that human senses are fallible. The telescope made manifest to humans that our senses continually betray us, that they are unreliable.
The telescope, as a tool and an event, brought to light a basic truth of science: That science, the search for reasons and causes beyond the senses, emerges not as a confirmation of our empirical senses, but as the corollary of our lost faith in our human and bodily senses and thus in the world itself.
The essential drive of the scientific worldview proceeds from the axiom that everything that is has a reason, nihil est sine ratione. The tree does not exist unless we rationalize it, set it within a humanly understood world. Even laws, for Leibniz and subsequent legal thinkers, only exist and operate insofar as they are meaning- ful and have a rational purpose.
In the age of scientific reason, all things—from a tree falling in the forest to justice—come to be knowable only by the human mind. Science is both a cause and an effect of our transformed understanding of the modern world, one in which the once-external and once-objective world is increasingly internalized.
It is because modern science replaces an objective world with the demand for subjective certainty that Cartesian doubt is the paradigmatic approach to the modern age. Now that the telescope and the rise of the scientific world led to the separation of truth from appearance, man learned to doubt the world as it appears.
Science is popularly thought to bring about certainty, to confirm a true or objective reality.
But Arendt understands it to achieve the opposite. Science actually treats objects as those things that stand against us and are perceived by the human senses. This relationship is heard in the German word for object, Gegenstand, that which stands against the subject. As Martin Heidegger so profoundly understood, the objectivization of the world by science is actually a subjectivization of the world.
Once the world exists only through and for humans, it comes to be disposable and useful for man. This is the source of what Heidegger calls the age of Technik, where objects lose their standing-for-themselves and come to stand in the world only in their usefulness and disposability for human purposes.
To understand the tree, we turn to experiments and instruments. We cut, pulverize, and examine the tree under microscopes; we chemically alter the tree to pull its secrets from it; and we destroy the tree to know it.
On the one hand, modern science brings despair insofar as we can never know the world around us through our senses. By internalizing the world through science, we transform the world from a physical and objective world into a rational world, something that we can understand, master, and con- trol. The scientific world view, Arendt argues, considers all events and all objects to be subject to a universally valid law in the fullest sense of the word, which means, among other things, valid beyond the reach of human sense experience even of the sense experiences made with the help of the finest instruments , valid beyond the reach of human memory and the appearance of mankind on earth, valid even beyond the coming into existence of organic life and the earth herself.
To think scientifically and universally is to think from a point not only distant from the earth, but also from a perspective in which one can look down upon the earth as something to know, to understand, and to control. Standing on the Archimedean point of the universal scientists, we no longer are bound to our senses, our bodies, and the earth. In the modern world, we internalize a universal perspective through which we are increasingly alienated from our fated earthliness and our human worldliness.
Human being in the scientific age is divorced from earthliness, the very earth- liness that Arendt, in her Prologue, announces as the quintessence of the human condition. Aristotle, for example, follows Plato in explicitly separating mathematics from the real world. For Aristotle, mathematics is separate and abstracted choristos from the world; it exists in no place atopos , and the mathematical has no influence on actual things.
The grand insight of 17th-century natural scientists was not simply to rediscover Euclid and the certain method of the ancient mathematical reasoning; rather, it was to extend the mathematical method from logical and rational beings to actual beings in the world. By subjecting the spatial, physical, and earthly world to mental symbols of disembodied rationality, the scientists free themselves from the earth and operate on a universal basis, freed from the physical confines of the earth.
Seen from the heights of the universal standpoint, the multitude of objects and events in the world are reduced to data. The danger of earth alienation is that we humans begin to look at ourselves the way that scientists look at rats. Even what may seem like a rare and unexpected deed can, when viewed from far enough removed, be fit into a pattern and subordinated to laws. Work is reduced to labor. This is the true threat to the human condition, the sacrifice of those fundamental and permanent conditions that for millennia have defined humanity.
It is only the scientists who can introduce truly new and revolutionary processes into the world. But such processes are, once introduced, unstoppable and have the capacity to irrevocably alter and even destroy the earth and the human world.
What The Human Condition explores is much more than the basic conditions of human existence as it has emerged over thousands of years. The bite of the book is to show how the rise of a scientific worldview threatens to fundamentally alter the earthly and worldly conditions in which human being has lived.
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And since humans are conditioned beings, the change from living as split beings—earthly in our subjection to fate and worldly in our human capacity to create our own humanly built world—to living uniformly in a fully artificial and alienated world threatens to transform humanity itself.
The transformation Arendt describes as the threat of the forces of science and automation is the loss of our earthly human plurality to the technological singularity.
Unless, in thinking what we are doing, we choose to act to hold on to our humanity. Die Meisten freilich liegen da vollgefressen wie das liebe Vieh.
Philippe Nonet United States: Amazon, , 36 v Aristotle, Politics, a. Arendt is citing E. Burtt, Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science, Berkowitz, The Gift of Science, London: Phaidon Press. By Pasquale Pasquino. And in doing so, we risk losing one part of our human condition, our earthliness, our being subject to chance, fate, and fortune. How did he know that there were mountains on the moon and why is his conclusion that there were mountains so important? Aristotle, Politics, a.
Berkowitz, The Gift of Science, University Press of Florida.
Greene, G. The Human Condition ,  first published in , Hannah Arendt 's account of how "human activities" should be and have been understood throughout Western history.